Scientists achieve first successful teleportation between two atoms a meter apart

January 23rd, 2009 - 2:28 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 23 (ANI): Scientists have for the first time successfully teleported information between two separate atoms in unconnected enclosures a meter apart, which is a significant milestone in the global quest for practical quantum information processing.

Through teleportation, quantum information, such as the spin of a particle or the polarization of a photon, is transferred from one place to another, without traveling through any physical medium.

It has previously been achieved between photons over very large distances, between photons and ensembles of atoms, and between two nearby atoms through the intermediary action of a third.

None of those, however, provides a feasible means of holding and managing quantum information over long distances.

Now, a team from the Joint Quantum Institute (JQI) at the University of Maryland (UMD) and the University of Michigan, has succeeded in teleporting a quantum state directly from one atom to another over a substantial distance.

That capability is necessary for workable quantum information systems because they will require memory storage at both the sending and receiving ends of the transmission.

According to the scientists, by using their protocol, atom-to-atom teleported information can be recovered with perfect accuracy about 90 percent of the time and that figure can be improved.

Teleportation works because of a remarkable quantum phenomenon, called entanglement, which only occurs on the atomic and subatomic scale.

Once two objects are put in an entangled state, their properties are inextricably entwined.

The JQI team set out to entangle the quantum states of two individual ytterbium ions so that information embodied in the condition of one could be teleported to the other.

Our system has the potential to form the basis for a large-scale quantum repeater that can network quantum memories over vast distances, said group leader Christopher Monroe of JQI and UMD.

Moreover, our methods can be used in conjunction with quantum bit operations to create a key component needed for quantum computation, he added.

A quantum computer could perform certain tasks, such as encryption-related calculations and searches of giant databases, considerably faster than conventional machines.

According to Monroe, photons are ideal for transferring information fast over long distances, whereas atoms offer a valuable medium for long-lived quantum memory.

The combination represents an attractive architecture for a quantum repeater, that would allow quantum information to be communicated over much larger distances than can be done with just photons, he said.

Also, the teleportation of quantum information in this way could form the basis of a new type of quantum internet that could outperform any conventional type of classical network for certain tasks, he added. (ANI)

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